Christmas Shopping on a Budget

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"Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read."

I love Christmas. What I don't love however, is getting into debt, buying stuff we don't need, and neglecting the poor. The desire to live within our means so that we can be free to give defines our Christmas gift giving.

I want Christmas to feel extravagant for our children, but I don't want to spend extravagantly. With this goal in mind, there are a few strategies that I use each Christmas.

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Keep Expectations Low- Every year I tell the children that it will be a small Christmas and they won't receive many gifts. I do spend a morning asking them what they would like for Christmas and writing it down, I love hearing what they are dreaming of, but I make it clear that they will not get everything on their list.

Download Our Free Christmas Bucket List Template Here

Use A Formula- I love the phrase, "Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read".  It has been attributed to Ann Voskamp and is a very good guideline for me on gift purchasing. With seven children, I need a framework to keep the gift purchasing simple.


Start Early- Throughout the year, I am constantly on the lookout for good books at thrift stores. These are stored in my closet where I will then divide them up between the children for their Christmas gifts. There is nothing quite like a new book, with a holiday to enjoy reading it. This is a good principle for all gift giving, while being careful not to overbuy or overspend.

Wrap Everything- I use Christmas as an opportunity to give my children things that they already need. I may spend a little extra to get day of the week undies, or a bamboo toothbrush, but even necessities should not be taken for granted, and giving them as gifts helps my children recognize that fact.

Keep Relationship as the Priority- Throughout the holiday season we try to keep relationships at the forefront. Making time to read through an advent devotional, sing songs, build a puzzle, and reach out to the needy are what the holiday should be defined by. If all my time is spent shopping, the memories will be bitter for everyone.

Christmas can be a wonderful time, free of debt and stress, it just might take a little more thought and planning.


For more ideas for a simple, thoughtful Christmas, check out the Wild and Free homeschool bundles. The December subscription, Yule is full of beautiful ideas for Christmas celebrations with your children. I’ll be speaking at their conference in Frisco this February, I’d love to see you there!


If you need some help to define a budget, and create a more simple Christmas, check out my course, Bountiful Homeschooling on a Budget. 

If you are searching for a fresh guide to homeschooling your children in the new year, check out our parent guides. We have year long, and month long resources to bring joy, connection, and learning into your home.


Here at The Peaceful Press, we’ve created a heartwarming Christmas Guide. We include nature based crafts, recipes, favorite story suggestions, phonics and counting activities, games, and fine motor activities to make this your best Christmas ever. Click the link below for more information.

The Christmas Guide

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